This column was written by Premal Shah, VP, Strategy at Chango, a real-time marketing technology company with an advanced platform and full-service solutions for brands and agencies. Premal is responsible for leading best practices and partnership strategies across all media solutions and the Programmatic Marketing Platform (PMP).
In the programmatic era, the more data you’ve got for your digital campaigns, the better. So, when we see one of our clients with access to mountains of data that isn’t being captured or put to use, it makes us want to smack our foreheads against the wall.
Unfortunately for our foreheads — not to mention the walls in our office — good data goes to waste all the time, and CPG companies are sometimes the biggest offenders. The good news: It’s never too late to take advantage of your data. Let’s look at three major categories of data that are typically underused by CPG companies — and also at a few ways to put that data to work.
Many CPG companies have databases of consumers who purchase their products in physical stores. It’s valuable data that has often been painstakingly gathered through a variety of offline campaigns, from coupons, to loyalty card programs. But some companies don’t yet appreciate that data onboarding companies can match offline consumers with their online identities using cookies. And once a match is made, you’ve left with an ideal consumer to target online. To take a simple (fictional) example: A consumer buys a Keurig coffeemaker at Target using a coupon she received in the mail. She then logs in to Facebook and sees an ad (perhaps offering a discount) for Keurig pods. (Yes, even Facebook has gotten into the onboarding game.). Furthermore, consider a brand like Finish. A consumer who purchased the dishwasher detergent tablets, and whose online intent/search behavior shows being eco friendly, could then be targeted with video pre-rolls for the Power & Free tablets.
Just about every company is now active on a number of different social networks. The problem? All this great social data is often used only for campaigns on the specific network from which it’s gathered. Facebook data is used for Facebook campaigns, Twitter data for Twitter campaigns, and so on. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If Starbucks’ Facebook fans click on a photo of one its drinks, for example, Starbucks should be able to show those Facebook users ads not just on Facebook but also on all the different websites they visit. And thanks to data management platforms (DMPs) that’s now entirely doable. DMPs, among many things, allow you to “shorten” all of your social links so that they’re rerouted through the DMP’s domain – and capture that data. In non-ad geek speak, that means that every single social user who clicks on your link or photo can be targeted just about anywhere.
Segmenting Your Browsing Data
Traffic to your website, of course, arrives from lots of other sites and sources. Knowing which specific sites and sources they are is valuable — and often overlooked — data. Say you’re a designer bag brand and you notice that a significant portion of your incoming traffic comes from Pinterest while another big portion comes from a site dedicated to bargain hunters. These are likely two very different types of consumers and it could make sense to retarget them with very different creative. In short, all incoming traffic is not alike, and that simple insight can make your campaigns much more effective. Some of your visits may be coming from repeat buyers (loyal customers), and may warrant a separate strategy.
As you can see, the data is there, just begging for someone to use it. And the ways in which you can take advantage of it extend far beyond traditional RTB. For some brands, private exchanges (programmatic premium) have become a way to safely take advantage of previously untapped data. You can now even send targeted tweets with Twitter’s brand new tailored audiences program. (Ever thought you’d be able to send thank you tweets, requests for reviews, or recommendations for related products to people who just bought your product at Sears? Now you can…).
In other words, if you’re in CPG and not using all your data, it’s time to act. Our office walls will thank you.